Online learning has been around for quite some time now, and with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, it has gained unprecedented popularity. More and more people are turning towards online learning to acquire new skills, further their education, or simply to optimize their free time to learn something entertaining. However, with online learning comes a set of dos and don’ts, you need to keep in mind to make the most of your learning experience. So, without further ado, let's dive in and explore the dos and don'ts of online learning.

1. Do: Create a Dedicated Study Space

Online learning can be very distracting, with all the social media notifications, email pings, and the general temptation to procrastinate. That's why it's crucial to create a dedicated study space that's free from distractions. It can be a quiet corner of your room, a separate study room, or even a coffee shop. The idea is to create an environment that is conducive to learning, and where you can focus without any interruptions, and get the best internet connection. In case of electricity shortage, saving mobile data is a smart choice. 

2. Do: Set Realistic Goals

Online learning can be overwhelming, and it's easy to lose track of what you want to achieve. That's why it's essential to set realistic goals for yourself. Create a schedule that includes study time, breaks, and any other activities you want to pursue. Set achievable goals for each day, week, and month, and track your progress regularly. This will help you stay motivated and focused throughout your learning journey. 

3. Do: Take Advantage of Online Resources

One of the benefits of online learning is the vast amount of resources available at your fingertips. Take advantage of these resources to enhance your learning experience. Watch online videos, participate in discussion forums, and use online study guides. There are many resources available, so find what works best for you. 

4. Do: Stay Connected

Online learning can be isolating, and it's crucial to stay connected with your classmates and teachers. Make sure you participate in online discussions, ask questions, and attend virtual classroom hours. This will help you build a sense of community and get the support you need to succeed.

5. Do: Communicate with your Instructor

If you have questions or need clarification on course material, don't hesitate to reach out to your instructor. Most online courses have discussion forums, email, or other ways to communicate with your instructor that can be inbuilt in your online learning platform. Take advantage of these resources and ask for help when you need it. Your instructor or mentor (for non - academic learning) is there to support you, so don't be afraid to ask for assistance. 

6. Do: Take Breaks

Online learning can be exhausting, and it's easy to burn out if you don't take breaks. It's essential to take short breaks every 45 minutes to an hour to rest your eyes, stretch your legs, listen to a song, or have a 5 minute fun chit chat, or grab your favorite snack. This will help you stay fresh and focused throughout the day. 

7. Do: Stay Organized

Organization is key to success in online learning. Keep track of your assignments, due dates, and study materials. Some next generation learning platform offer planning tool for learners, like Ucademy. Use a planner, calendar, or app to keep yourself on track. This will help you stay focused and avoid missing deadlines. 

8. Do: Take Advantage of Flexibility

One of the benefits of online learning is the flexibility it offers. You can learn from anywhere, at any time, as long as you have an internet connection. Take advantage of this flexibility and create a learning schedule that works for you. 

1. Don't: Study in Bed

It's tempting to snuggle up in bed with your laptop and attend a lecture, but this is a terrible idea. Your bed is where you sleep, and if you start associating it with work, it can disrupt your sleep cycle. Moreover, it's not the most productive environment, and you're likely to feel sleepy and lethargic. So, avoid studying in bed and reserve it only for sleep and relaxation.

2. Don't: Binge Watch Netflix

It's easy to get carried away with online learning and forget about the rest of the world, but it's essential to take a break from studying and do something else. However, that something else shouldn't be binge-watching Netflix. While there's nothing wrong with watching a few episodes of your favorite show, it's crucial not to make it a habit. You don't want to end up wasting hours of your day, glued to the screen, and feeling guilty about not studying.

3. Don't: Multitask

It's tempting to multitask when attending online classes, but this can hurt your learning experience. Multitasking can lead to decreased productivity, increased stress, and decreased understanding of the material. So, avoid checking your phone, scrolling through social media, or doing anything else while attending a class. Give your full attention to the lecture and absorb the material to the best of your ability.

4. Don't: Compare Yourself to Others

It's easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, especially when it comes to online learning. With social media, it's easy to see what others are doing and feel like you're not doing enough. However, it's crucial to remember that everyone's journey is different, and yours is the most suitable for you at the moment.

5. Don't: Procrastinate

Online learning can be convenient, but it's easy to fall into the trap of procrastination. Don't put off assignments or studying until the last minute. Create a schedule and stick to it. You should check class related collateral like emails, messages, and reminders on regular basis to avoid missing out important reminders. Procrastination can lead to added workload hence added stress and a lower quality of work.

6. Don't: Plagiarize

Online learning can make it easy to copy and paste information from the internet. However, plagiarism is a serious offense and can lead to a failing grade or even expulsion from your course. Make sure to properly cite any sources you use and paraphrase information in your own words.

7. Don't: Ignore Technical Issues

Technical issues can arise when learning online, such as internet connection problems or software glitches. Don't ignore these issues and hope they'll go away on their own. Contact technical support or your instructor for help. It's better to address the problem early on than wait until it's too late.

8. Don't: Neglect Self-Care

Online learning can be stressful, so it's essential to prioritize self-care. Make sure to take care of your physical and mental health. Exercise regularly, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. Take breaks and practice stress-reducing activities like yoga or meditation. Self-care will help you stay focused, motivated, and healthy.

In conclusion, online learning can be a rewarding experience if you keep in mind these dos and don'ts. Create a dedicated study space, take breaks, stay connected, set realistic goals, and communicate with your instructor. Avoid studying in bed, multitasking, procrastination, plagiarism, and ignoring technical issues. Take advantage of online resources, flexibility, and prioritize self-care. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to a successful online learning experience.